Student Analysis: The History of the Black Lives Matter Movement: Why Is It Important in 2022?

89px;” data-filename=”” src=””>Black Lives Matter seeks to tackle racism, discrimination, and inequality faced by black people. It is a protest against the incidence of discrimination black people suffer due to their color.

Black Lives Matter is also a phrase used to emphasize people of color’s mistreatment. Supporters notice that black people are more likely to be shot by the police and segregated in the US and other countries than white people. They also want to address racism, which dates back to the time of slavery till today.    The Black Lives Matter movement demands that the lives and property of black people are valued as much as that of the whites.

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A brief history of Black Lives Matter.

The movement began in July 2013 in the United States of America (USA). This was after George Zimmerman was acquitted following the death of seventeen years old Travyon Martin, whom he had shot to death 17 months earlier. He had shot him in February 2012.

By 2014, the movement of black lives matter became popular after demonstrations made following the death of two blacks. Micheal Brown was killed in Ferguson, and also Eric Garner was killed In New York City. Since then, the movement has demonstrated against police brutality.

Between 2014 and 2020, people like Sandra Bland, Philippe Castille, Freddie Grayand Tamir Rice. Many other black people have been victims of deaths at the hands of police or while in police custody.

In 2020, the movement became more nationally and even internationally known after George Floyd’s murder by a police officer in 2020. Approximately 15 to 26 million people joined the BLM movement. This made it one of the largest movements in American history.

Importance of the BLM movement and what it has achieved in 2022.

The primary purpose or importance of the movement is to advocate for equal treatment of all races. This is regardless of gender identity, religion, social status, ability or disability, etc.

Due to continuous demonstrations, different countries have shown efforts to indicate their support for the fair treatment of black people.

In the US, steps are taken to fight police cruelty. Some states in the US have shifted some funds from the police into other public areas. It came to live when the term ‘defund the police’ became public after the death of George Floyd.

In the UK, statues of people linked to the slave trade in museums have been removed. In Welsh, black history courses would be mandatory in all schools from 2022.

Effects of the BLM movement in today’s society.

One major effect that the movement has on society is the reduction of force by police officers, especially in places where demonstrations were held. According to research done by Travis Campbell, a Ph.D. student in economics at the University of Massachusetts believes, three key reasons could have led to this reduction.

●        First, there is an increase in the use of body cameras. In response to the BLM riots, police departments most likely enforced reforms that reduced the harmful use of force.

●        The second reason is that people are becoming more cautious of the police in the outcome of these protests and publicizing examples of police killings. That could mean people engage with police officers less. This has reduced civilian/police interactions and, thereby, lethal exchanges.

●        The third reason is also called the Ferguson effects. It has reduced officer effort due to the serious scrutiny from society and the media. There is a disadvantage to this as officers stop doing their jobs boldly. This leads to lesser arrests, especially for less serious crimes like disorderly conduct or possession of drugs.

Another major effect of the BLM movement is the increased interest and participation of youths and young teenagers in the movement. Youths, especially University or college students, are participating in the movement through social media or street demonstrations. More youths join in as this is a way to support other youth who are discriminated against.  

A fourth effect of the Movement for Black Lives is universal recognition. Ethnic minorities that have been often denied their fundamental human rights have embraced it.

Finally, regardless of the criticism against the BLM movement, it gained recognition both in the US and worldwide. This sensitization has shifted the thought process of many US citizens. The Black Lives Matter movement aims to fight racism and bring about a change that Blacks had hoped to see. 

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